Yes, sir, it’s that time again – recapping my favorite albums from the past year. It was a pretty good year with a lot of cool stuff. Some cool stuff didn’t even make it onto the list (which makes me a bit sad), but I limited myself to five picks, so that’s what I stuck with. As always, this isn’t necessarily stuff that came out this year, just stuff I discovered though some may be new releases.
Marmozets, “The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets” – This was a Christmas present last year and it pretty much dominated the first part of the year. One part Paramore, one part fierce, technical musicianship. All parts awesome. Can’t wait to see what this band does in the future!
White Lighter, “White Lighter” – A project from former Stavesacre/Crucified frontman Mark Solomon, White Lighter is a sort of laid back, Black Sabbath-esque rock band. Their debut album came out late in 2014 but I’d only heard about it later through Solomon’s podcast. It’s a fantastic album that I listened to over and over.
Symphony X, “Underworld” – Symphony X continues to impress with another stellar release. Not quite as heavy as “Iconoclast” but it makes up for it with melodic hooks and catchy tunes. It’s even got a little bit of a commercial vibe which, surprisingly, actually helps the album rather than hurt it.
I Fight Dragons, “The Near Future” – I like catchy tunes and I like the original Nintendo, so… I pretty much have to love this album.
Queensryche, “Condition Human” – Welcome back, guys. Welcome back. Queensryche is energized and full of life once again. While I do think it might fall just short of true classic status, I have no doubt they are going to create the next “Mindcrime” or “Empire” of their careers with Todd LaTorre. I cannot wait to see what they do next.
Jerry Gaskill, “Love & Scars”
Coheed & Cambria, “The Color Before the Sun”
Tourniquet/Ted Kirkpatrick, “Onward to Freedom” – Well, there’s certainly enough talent on this disc that, mathematically speaking, it should be good. Right? Unfortunately the songs are largely forgettable and the preachy PETA lyrics don’t help matters any.
Meghan Trainor, “Title” – It’s unfortunate that the subject matter on Trainor’s debut album is so annoying. We get it… you’re an independent woman who don’t need no man – except when you do. They you’re mad because that idiot you’re messing around with treats you bad. I really hope this is a persona instead of Trainor’s real life.
The Gentle Storm, “The Diary” – Here’s another album that should be one of my picks. Arjen Lucassen and Anneke Van Giersbergen team up for a Celtic-influenced heavy/pop album. It should work! For some it does. Me, however, it just didn’t seem to do anything for me. I never really found myself going back to it. Oh well… we are due for another Star One record soon…
Atomic Opera, “Gospel Cola” – No surprise here. I loved “For Madmen Only” but heard “Gospel Cola” had fallen short. I held out hope that maybe I would really latch onto it but, nope, I didn’t. It’s as mediocre as everyone has said. Sad face.
I’m going to so something a little different next year. Not too much different as there will still be my regular reviews. However, I will be spending one review each month to a specific thing. Get ready for…. THE GENESIS PROJECT! Want to find out more? Watch the video edition!